Newsletter - 2019 Archive

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February Flatlander
Permanent Brevet #18: Fraser Valley Flatlander

Ride date: February 18, 2019
by Karen Smith

Feb 18, 2019 Done! PHEW!!
Permanent #18 with a Chilliwack start
203 km
10 hrs 55 min

This month has been very snowy and slippery and it wasn’t looking good for a 200!

I had been watching the weather and there seemed to be only a few windows between snow days where it might be safe to go.

I was eyeing Feb 21, but when I woke up on the 18th, it was only minus 2, and not the minus 6 forecasted. I looked out the windows. No frost on the roads and no frost on the cars!

I gotta attempt today!

I called Gary to see if he could come (I waited until after 7 am to call) but Gary already had a full day planned.

I gotta go solo. Oh, so not ready!!

My favourite shorts are in the laundry, my Garmin’s not charged, still have to print waiver and send it in, and print control card, do my bottles, etc...

I need to do everything that I usually do the night before. Uggh!

I really wanted to leave by 0800 hrs. I charged my Garmin until 8:20 when it reached 67%. Enough I thought, I have to get on the road…. (It only lasted 6 hrs and 21 min)

I departed at 08:25 in minus 2 degrees C and it stayed below zero all day.

The roads were very dry. Still I was nervous along Chilliwack Lake Rd because it parallels the river and has a high chance of black ice, but it wasn't too bad.

Most of my roads were quite good. Almost all shoulders were full of snow, sand, salt or gravel or some combination but there was so little traffic (BC Family Day), I could ride in the lane.

Along Hope River Rd, around sunset, the new blue lights were flashing, indicating it was below freezing. Camp River Rd and Ferry Rd were sketchy and frosty. I could see the glistening and hear and feel it under my tires.

I saw some kids played hockey on the Slough, along Camp River Rd. FUN!!!

At 18 km in, my right shifter failed.

I couldn’t get out of my smallest cog. I’ve had this problem in the past and can usually manually move my chain to another cog and get everything working again.

But that didn’t work today. I thought, I’m not very far in, maybe I should just call it a day, and attempt another time.

I thought about this weather window and decided to carry on. I ended up walking up Farmer, and 272. It was kind of fun to get off and walk. At least I was moving. I was able to fix it in Ft Langley at ~ 90 km. Yay!

The most interesting thing of the day was how many birds I saw! Way more than usual! Both live birds and dead birds!

I saw so many small dead birds on the roads, and in the shoulders and ditches and even a very large dead eagle in a field just a few meters in.

There were also so many live birds in the shoulders and ditches and I often spooked them at the last minute, and then they spooked me.

I saw the usual herons, hawks, ducks, geese, crows etc, and even robins. I thought this is too cold for robins... but there they were.

I also saw a lot of eagles. Lately I had been thinking that the eagles had moved elsewhere (maybe Delta). There are a few trees on my ride where at certain times of year, usually now-ish and into spring, where I see so many eagles. I have photos from past rides, of at least 13 eagles in one tree. But I haven’t seen these eagles for a few years. Well, they were back. I saw 6 in one tree and many many others flying around.

Glad to have been able to get my Feb Permanent in.

: )


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March 11, 2019